Methandrostenolone is an
anabolic steroid originally developed by John Ziegler and released
in the US in 1956 by Ciba. It was used as an aid to muscle growth
by bodybuilders until its ban by the FDA under the Controlled
Substances Act. Despite this, methandrostenolone continues to
be produced in countries such as Mexico under the trade name Reforvit-b,
and is being manufactured in Russia, as well as Thailand, and
subsequently is still seen on the United States black market.
production in most of Western Europe and the United States has
Several successful athletes and professional bodybuilders have
come forward and admitted long-term methandrostenolone use, including
Arnold Schwarzenegger  and Sergio Oliva . Despite its illegality
many athletes continue to use the drug for the muscle mass gains
it can cause.
not react strongly with the androgen receptor, instead relying
on activity not mediated by the receptor for its effects. These
include dramatic increases in protein synthesis, glycogenolysis,
and muscle strength over a short space of time. However, due to
its mode of action, it decreases the rate of cell respiration
and decreases production of red blood cells. In high doses (30
mg or more per day), side effects such as gynaecomastia, high
blood pressure, acne and male pattern baldness may begin to occur.
The drug causes severe masculinising effects in women even at
low doses. In addition, it is metabolised into estradiol by aromatase.
This means that without the administration of aromatase inhibitors
such as Anastrozole or Aminoglutethimide, estrogenic effects will
appear over time in men. Many users will combat the estrogenic
side effects with Nolvadex or Clomid. In addition, as with other
17?-alkylated steroids, the use of methandrostenolone over extended
periods of time can result in liver damage without appropriate
In the early 1960s, doctors commonly prescribed a tablet per
day for women as a tonic. This use was quickly discontinued upon
discovery of the heavily masculinising effects of methandrostenolone.
However, despite the lack of any known therapeutic applications,
the drug remained legal until the early 1990s. The ban by the
FDA was not completely successful in eliminating its use by bodybuilders,
and methandrostenolone continues to be used illegally to this
day, typically being stacked (combined) with Drugs that react
strongly with the androgen receptor, such as Oxandrolone, in order
to increase the overall effectiveness of steroid use.
The 17-methylation of the steroid does allow it to pass through
the liver without being broken down (hence causing the aforementioned
damage to the liver) allowing it to be taken orally. It also has
the effect of decreasing the steroids affinity for sex hormone
binding globulin, a protein that de-activates steroid molecules
and prevents them from further reactions with the body. As a result,
methandrostenolone is significantly more active than an equivalent
quantity of testosterone, resulting in rapid growth of muscle
tissue. However, the concomitant elevation in estrogen levels
- a result of the aromatization of methandrostenolone - results
in significant water retention. This gives the appearance of great
gains in mass and strength, which prove to be temporary once the
steroid is discontinued and water weight drops. Because of this,
it is often used by bodybuilders only at the start of a steroid
cycle, to facilitate rapid strength increases and the appearance
of great size, while compounds such as testosterone or nandrolone
with long acting esters build up in the body to an appreciable
amount capable of supporting anabolic function on their own.